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This World Cup is an example of the rugby that fans are asking for

By Ned Lester
Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images

The 2021 Rugby World Cup (played in 2022) is delivering the style of game that the men’s teams are struggling to achieve, with the ball in play more and tactical kicks less of a feature making for a fast paced style of play.


Fans have been calling for changes to speed up the men’s game, a report from one journalist even said that the first half of game one of the Bledisloe Cup matches had only 12 minutes of ball in play.

The Springboks have faced criticism for their tactics at slowing the game down and there is concern that rugby as a product is being weakened.

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The Aotearoa Rugby Pod discussed the current World Cup and how the style of play naturally addresses those concerns.

“They are almost two different games,” Ex-Blues hooker James Parsons commented. “Yes it’s the same game of rugby but it’s played in different styles, the emotion of certain things like the anthem and the Haka is just taken differently and it’s given quite a neat perspective on how different it is.

“Even if you look throughout the game, lack of kicks in play, they were picking and going from 60 (meters) out, but earning penalties and there’s quite a big difference in the styles and I think that’s a good thing.”



The podcasts host Ross Karl agreed the games were delivering a great spectacle for fans.

“The ball in hand aspect of it is amazing, it is literally in hand the entire time and we complain about this in the mens game, there’s not enough play, well, you don’t get the in the women’s game.”

James Parsons added to the praise and highlighted the skillset required to play a high tempo, attacking game and how despite some early mistakes, the Black Ferns ability to execute was impressive.

“The ball in play was huge,


“I was just thinking what would Wayne Smith be thinking and probably, handling errors were quite high, I think it was eleven to one in the first half and that’s quite high in the sense that Aussie had 65 percent of the ball and territory, and they only had one turnover and we had eleven.

“So we were chancing our arms and going after it but it is a risk vs reward so I think early on in the (next) test they’ll want to sure that up because you wouldn’t want to give that many opportunities to an England side,

“Especially (with them) being able to go kick for the corner because when the Australian attackers got between two defenders, that’s when the ruck got a little but deeper and that’s when the advantages came and the penalties just snowballed, snowballed and obviously Aussie took reward of it but they probably should have scored more points.”

While highlighting the Black Ferns, Parsons said it’s a mentality shared by all teams at the tournament.

“Because of that mindset, the ‘we’re all out attack, it doesn’t matter where we are on the field’, you wouldn’t want to kick. But all teams are looking like that every time, they just want to attack.”


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